Whimsical Patchwork Painted Dresser

Do you ever have one of  THOSE days?  THOSE weeks?  THOSE months?  I do!  Sometimes I just need to walk away from everything and escape the chaos for a little while.  This is one of our favorite places to relax.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park

Lake Michigan’s Beautiful Shoreline, Empire, Michigan


I love Michigan’s summers!  Since it’s light until almost 10:00 p.m. this time of year, late afternoons and evenings the perfect time for painting.  The sun isn’t intense, the winds are usually calm and everything seems more tranquil.


I took the opportunity to slap together a quick makeover using various leftover sample pots of American Paint Company’s chalk, clay and mineral paint.  I dumped blobs of each color onto a plate and went to town.  No deep thought, no planning ~ Ready, Set, GO!

The only thing I knew I wanted was a chunky, patchwork quilt type of colorful finish.  I used American Paint Company’s Beach Glass, Orange Grove, Amber Waves of Grain, Home Turf, Dessert Cactus (and I can’t remember what else).  Here’s what I ended up with.

Patchwork #painteddresser Shizzle Design Grand Rapids, Michigan chalk clay paints #paintedfurniture best colors ideas #americanpaintcompany 12

To begin, I simply slapped on the paint and kept layering… and layering… and layering!


This dresser is a good representation of what’s going through my brain at any given moment.

Patchwork #painteddresser Shizzle Design Grand Rapids, Michigan chalk clay paints #paintedfurniture best colors ideas #americanpaintcompany 11

To me, it’s not just about the color, it’s how a piece feels

I wish you could reach through your monitor and feel how silky smooth the finish is on this piece.  It’s sealed with American Paint Company’s Light Antiquing Wax which adds a sunset-like warmth to the vast array of colors I used.

Patchwork #painteddresser Shizzle Design Grand Rapids, Michigan chalk clay paints #paintedfurniture best colors ideas 2

I love APC’s Antiquing Waxes!  

They are by far the easiest dark waxes I’ve ever used.  They can be applied directly over the paint without an initial coat of clear wax!

APC’s Antiquing Wax comes pre-mixed so…

  • You don’t have to mix it up yourself and worry whether you have it mixed well enough to cure properly.  It’s good to go.
  • You don’t have to fart around cutting the dark wax with clear wax just to make it glide on evenly.  It naturally spreads out evenly without creating streaks you can’t blend into the finish.
  • You also won’t have to dilute it with Mineral Spirits like some chemically laden waxes require to make them work properly ~ just brush it on like you would Clear Wax and buff with an old t-shirt and you’ll end up with such a buttery smooth finish that you won’t be able to stop touching it.

Light Antiquing Wax #shizzledesign #americanpaintcompany

Ok, maybe that’s just me 

I touch a lot of painted furniture that doesn’t FEEL good

To create this look, take a variety of colors and start slapping it on in random patterns.  Dry brush in every which way then use a little water to spread it around and repeat over and over again until you like what you see.  I used a variety of colors from American Paint Company’s chalk/clay/mineral paints including: Fireworks Red, Home Turf, Surfboard, Orange Grove, Wild Horses, Home Plate, Beach Glass, Coral Reef and whatever else was within my reach that day.

Patchwork #painteddresser Shizzle Design Grand Rapids, Michigan chalk clay paints #paintedfurniture best colors ideas #americanpaintcompany 10

I do the same thing with carpet, couches, sweatshirts and linens.  Living room carpet needs to be soft enough to lay on, the fabric on a couch needs to be so comfy that you can crash face first into it…  Yes, I’ve been known to lay on couches at LaZboy and I’m about as experienced as they come at picking out the best rocking chair.  Ok ~ so I like to rock.  One of these days I’ll share some of my earliest photos of this habit that I seem to have carried on to adulthood.  Did I mention, I still rock my 10 year old?  SHHHH ~ don’t tell her I told you!!

Patchwork #painteddresser Shizzle Design Grand Rapids, Michigan chalk clay paints #paintedfurniture best colors ideas #americanpaintcompany 8

I dropped this off to our Shizzle Design booth at Not So Shabby in Holland, Michigan

Shizzle Design booth hand painted furniture chalk clay paint ideas colors CeCe Caldwell's American Paint Company retailer holland michigan 3

These colors lift my spirits!

Patchwork #painteddresser Shizzle Design Grand Rapids, Michigan chalk clay paints #paintedfurniture best colors ideas #americanpaintcompany 13

What do you think?  

Leave me a comment below ~ I’d love to hear about your favorite color combinations!

Did you know that…

  • We’ve opened up a Shizzle Design Paint Studio at 2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, Michigan 49428?  This is where Cathy and I paint our furniture but we want our customers to know that we’re here for you.  We encourage everyone to stop in any time to buy paint or to get your questions answered.
  • We’ve taught people from all over the United States and Canada how to paint furniture Shizzle Style using chalk and clay paints?  Join us for a fun and relaxing workshop.  Click Paint Workshops to see a list of current classes offered.
  • You can Subscribe to Shizzle Design for tips, tutorials, ideas, pictures, videos for our furniture painted in all natural chalk and clay based mineral paints?
  • Did you know that you can get these sent directly to your inbox and that it’s FREE?  It is ~ so what are you waiting for?  Enter your email in the right hand column of our blog to stay in the loop.
  • We have a Shizzle Design Facebook Page?  We share all sorts of additional tips, ideas, photos EVERY DAY and offer special deals (which you’ll only know about if you’ve Liked our Facebook Page?).
  • We have numerous Pinterest Boards?  Stop in and check out our extensive portfolio ~ Pin us on Pinterest
  • We sell our painted furniture at Not So Shabby Antiques and Fine Furniture at 2975 West Shore Drive in Holland, Michigan 49424?
  • Shizzle Design is an American Paint Company’s Chalk/Clay/Mineral Paints in West Michigan locations and sell both domestically and international online?  Click LOCATIONS or Online Shizzle Shop.

Click here to see Shizzle Design Painted Furniture Makeovers


Click here to see our Shizzle Tips, How To Tutorials & Video’s


Click here to see Funky Finishes


Linking up to these GREAT Parties!

Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party

The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday

Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday

Redoux – Friday Link Up Party

Homespun Happenings – Rustic Restorations Weekend

Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special

Silver Pennies – Silver Pennies Sundays

Knick of Time Interiors – Knick of Time Tuesday

a hui hou ~ Shelly


95 Replies to “Whimsical Patchwork Painted Dresser”

  1. Wowza! The colors all look like you intended them to be there, not just slapped on randomly. So you like this wax better than Caldwell?

  2. This is such a cool, bohemian feeling piece, Shelley! Awesome!! It must’ave been so much fun to create! I need to ask you how much you’re asking for that armoire that’s in the second to the last photo? I’m looking for one to store my fabrics and craft supplies in. xoxo laurie

  3. What a great idea! The piece really has so much personality now with all the happy colors that you applied. I saw your post over at MMS Furniture Friday blog party.

    1. not… Betsy, you can do this!! Just don’t think about it ~ grab some of your leftovers and go 😀 You’ll love their antiquing waxes!

    1. Too funny Lauren! You’re the 2nd person to say that. I can recognize certain artists styles too but I never think anything about mine says “me” ~ lol

  4. This is seriously one of my favorite dressers EVER!!!!! I LOVE that you used all those colors with that outcome. I think you are going to start a major whimsical dresser revolution. The first chance I get to copy this look, I will! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

  5. I love your staging but I sure would like to see a slap full on frontal picture of the finished piece. I love the knobs. Great job as always 🙂

  6. This really popped out and caught my eye over at Funky Junk! I love how beautifully crazy and colorful it is! I also have to add that I’m so glad you’re selling the paints over at Caledonia Vintage Marketplace because now i can get some everytime i go to check on my booth 🙂

  7. Hi Shelly, I am facinated with the technique you used. Did you paint it all in a single session or did you have several gos at it with drying time inbetween? Since it sounds like this technique might not be best suited for a workshop, I would love it if you would post a video of how you did this. Thank you so much for sharing! Sara

    1. Sara, I did this in a matter of minutes with a tiny blob of several colors on plate and one paint brush. No, i did not wash it between colors. I think even with a video this would be too hard for me to teach. I just go; great stress reliever.

  8. I’m surprised that I love it!!! But I really do – super creative and all the colors blend so well together – good job!

  9. I just love that dresser. I’m just getting into painting furniture. I have a bedroom full of old furniture that needs a makeover. I’ll have to study your site better to she how you did that. You really inspired me to paint!

      1. What exactly is the wax. I tried looking for it on the site but I only see one called clear not light? Is that the same?

  10. I’m astounded at how much I like this chest! I’m not usually a multi color paint kinda girl, but this is lovely. Wish I could touch it too! It just looks touchable. Beautiful job Really!

  11. Do I ever love that chest, the colors mixed as they are with the antiquing wax is incredible. Makes my old heart go thumpety thump. You are a treasure trove of info about painting/waxes. Do you sell the American Paint CO paints/waxes or how do i get them? Due to budget have pretty much had to go with paints from Ace/True Value/Lowe’s/HO and home made chalk paint. If you have a chance before you take off for longest yard sale please reply to: FurryKidzPaperworx@gmail.com Thanks and have a great time.

  12. This is really awesome! We have a chest in my daughter’s room that I painted multi-colors before she was born, but it wasn’t nearly this cool. It is in bad need of a makeover now (11 yrs later) & I might have to try my hand at something like this.

  13. I love everything you have shown us!! You have inspired me to do what I love again! Thank you, Thank you!!

  14. I ran across your blog this morning and was delighted to see this fabulous patchwork dresser. What an awesome piece of work! Since I am headed out to some garage sales this very morning, I will be watching for a sad little piece that calls out to me for a make-over. Just love your color combination, so rich and fun! I haven’t worked with antiquing waxes before so I am excited to try out your recommendations! Thanks 🙂

  15. I love it. I’m afraid I would try something like that and it would look ridiculous – but your patchwork dresser is beautiful. After layering the colors, did you sand?

  16. Found your site and love, love, love, your work! The colorful patchwork chest is cheery, fun, and yes lift’s your spirit. Keeping my eye to find a piece for myself.

    Sister Squirrel in Texas 😉

  17. Hi Shelly did u paint a base coat before u started dry brushing? And when u say u used a little water to spread the color around what do u mean? Do u use a different brush and dip in water? Wish u would do a video on this

    1. Josette, when I do things like this, I don’t give it much thought ~ I just go. I can’t remember now whether or not I painted a base coat but I’m thinking not. I typically dump a bunch of blobs of paint onto a plate and, using the same brush, just keep dry-brushing. I don’t wash my brush; I just keep dipping in different colors. I most likely had a cup of water next to me that I dipped in and out of to blend.

      1. Hi Shelly I love this piece and I want to try dry brush painting.Did you paint all colors before you blended with water?
        Thanks Cathy

  18. Really enjoyed viewing your pieces. As a novice, trying to salvage a beat up king size bed frame with posts, this is exactly the type of “disturbed” refurbishing I’d like to try rather than refinish and varnish. I only hope it turns out a fraction of awesome from what I’ve seen here. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. I’m fairly new at this “up-cycling” of older furniture and got hooked immediately. I know the post re: the patchwork dresser is an older one but it is the most inspiring and fun piece I have come across. I can’t wait to try this for myself.

  20. Ohhhh, this winter I’m going to do my desk. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I’m going to do this whimsical dresser idea for sure! Thank you. Hey, I’m in Michigan too!!! 🙂

  21. I think your Patchwork dresser is one of my favorite pieces that you have done !!! It should be in Art Prize- very creative and whimsical- love it!!! Can’t wait to try that technique on something, and I must stop by and try some of the new dark wax, it’s a gotta have, plus some of the new colors, yummy!!! Thanks for your inspiration!!!

    1. ha ha Cathy ~ I am not worthy!! I walk around in total awe at the creations people come up with at ArtPrize!! If you liked this dresser, you should stop by our Jenison Studio and check out the china cabinet I just painted in a similar style.

  22. I do not like shabby chic or that type decorating. But, I couldn’t take my eyes off the patchwork dresser. I want to try it on an old dresser that I have. Just wonderful

  23. Shelly, I just found two great old wood chairs and am determined to have my own paint party with the goal of having fun using a similar approach to yours – using American Paints and antiquing wax. I would have loved to see a video of you making the patchwork painted dresser just to see your genius in action! I live in Boston so can’t make your workshops. Have you thought of making a video series that folks could purchase? Hope you have a great summer!

  24. I love your dresser!!! Wish I had seen this before I just sold an older piece I’d had for 30 years. Just had no ‘new thoughts’ on it and I was just tired of it. Then after selling it my daughter-in-law asked about it for ‘the first grandbabies nursery’ . . . . . .

    I wish I had never let my youngest child, daughter, talk me into getting rid of it. But, I have some other pieces that I still may try this on. I just wish I still had that other small dresser because it would have been perfect.

    Thanks for the idea – it’s darling!!!

  25. Omgosh…I absolutely LOVE this! I did something similar but it involved distrssing. I’m curious as to whether or not you let the paint dry between layering? Thank you so much for making this world,and helping my home…become more beautiful!!!

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